It was a big day for Mallex Smith yesterday. The Braves center field prospect was called up and penciled into the lineup to leadoff in his first ever major league game. Was he ready? Hard to say. Baseball America ranks Smith as the No. 10 overall prospect in the Braves’ system and the ex-football player is probably still raw. But they needed an outfielder, he’s their best outfield prospect and he’s fast as all get-out, having stole 88 bases in 2014 and 56 a year ago. The Braves stink. Let the kid run!
And Smith ran. He was standing on first base following a fielder’s choice in the fourth inning. He broke for second, trying to steal. He slid head first into the bag just as the throw from Wilson Ramos got there. Except his helmet fell off, bounced off the ground and smashed into his own face. It gave him a laceration over his left eye. A pretty bloody one, as you can see above. You can watch the play here if you’re into that sort of thing.
Smith was not only out on the play but he was out of the game. He may be given another day off or two. It was already a memorable debut for Smith, who earlier singled. Now he will have something additionally to remember it by. A scar.